Elton Arthur "Tommie" Thompson died April 4, 2009, in his home, surrounded by his family.
Elton, son of Thomas and Gertrude Thompson, was born Dec. 26, 1914, in Ayr, N.D., and attended high school in McIntosh, S.D. He attended two years at the University of South Dakota before he moved to Milwaukee, where he met Mildred Soderberg. They got married June 24, 1939, in Milwaukee. WWII interrupted family life, and Elton served with the 11th Armored Infantry in Europe. He was awarded the Purple Heart and other commendations for his bravery and service. Following the war, Elton became a general manager for the Hathaway Bakeries, as well as a salesman and entrepreneur. Elton and Mildred lived in Worcester, Ma. They moved to North Syracuse, N.Y., and soon after they owned and operated Thompson's Cottages in Detroit Lakes, while still managing a sales territory in New York. Elton and Mildred successfully ran the resort for more than 30 years and retired to Rapid City, S.D., in 1993. In 2007, Elton and Mildred moved to North Ridge Masonic Home Apartments in New Hope, Minn.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Mildred; sons, Donald (Suki), Robert (Janae Winegarden); nieces and nephews; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Marjorie and Ann.
Elton was preceded in death by a brother, Gordon, and a sister, Bernice.
A service celebrating Elton's life will be Wednesday at Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, 5025 Knox Ave. S., Minneapolis.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. today (Tuesday) in Washburn McReavy Funeral Home, Edina.